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Monday, 23 August 2010


hoookay, so a fair bit to update with today.

I found a place to live finally, which is good. my room is nice and big and the rent is super cheap ($280 per month).
The landlady is old and Chinese and really nice. The flat is pretty standard, three people living here: me, a Japanese guy who is apparently never around and some old Chinese lady (ever seen Kung Fu Hustle?) who enjoys mothballs and smoking.

So yeah the place kinda smelled a bit funky at first. Not sure if it's because I got used to it already or because I'm chain-smoking incense sticks but it seems to be pretty much fine now.
Also, for some reason my bed was propped up on top of a bunch of boxes containing fricken bricks and stone tiles... odd. So I dealt with those and now have an actually pretty comfortable mattress which still leaves a good amount of room to live in. I also sorted out some internet with a chinese guy upstairs after a rather hilarious yet disconcerting episode yesterday when I was confronted by a(nother) half naked chinese guy with a kitchen knife.. But Kung Fu Hustle lady came to the rescue and shouted at him then told me not to worry about him because he's crazy... hmmm..

The main thing though is that hopefully Joe and Ollie will be getting a flat just a few blocks away. Which would be super cool and lead to much chilling.

Other things that have happened: We went for a walk the other night over to the Latin Quater and Jade decided to take a dip in a fountain (hah).
Swimming pool

Yesterday we went up to the Plateau which is a super nice area and we decided that after we all finish uni we'll buy a house up there and become one with the squirrels... There were lots of squirrels.

Still not registered for my courses as the helpful guy seems to have dropped out of existence.
Oooh also, I need to get a duvet. Currently mine sucks.


Thursday, 19 August 2010

Birthday Bloooog :)

So yesterday was my birthday and I turned twenteen.
After another fruitless attempt at finding somebody to sort out my courses and a few wasted hours sat in the hostel being confused we decided to go see some park and the weird shaped tower thing that's on all of the Montreal tourism paperwork. We took along our new French friend called Fanny.. She's lovely.

The whole funky building thing was kinda cool but ultimately we became hungry and there was very little around to eat... Also we were keen to see the Botanical Gardens and Insectarium but it was all a little bit closed so that plan failed too.
Oh also there was a weird guy on the metro platform on the way up who gave me a lot of evils and smiled at Joe and took a picture of me on his phone as the train moved off... he was also rather fat.

So we caught the metro back home and me and Joe bought a sub from some hilarious dude who sold subs and felt the need to tell us about his monthly rent for the building and why he needs to charge $9 for a large sub when he would really like to only charge $5.

Funky building
FANNY... (and Jade)

Last NIGHT however, was far more interesting :)
As it was my birthday and I was king for the day, I found us a jazz club just down the road to go to. Jade had made EVEN MORE friends by this time so we took along 'Hiroko', a Japanese girl who is also going to Concordia for a semester.

The club was pretty much everything I'd want from a jazz bar. We didn't have any food but the drinks weren't over priced and the whole atmosphere of the place was really chilled. There was a piano trio playing (keys, bass, kit) and they were fricken awesome!
I decided to follow Ron Burgundy and go for a Glenlivet (without the pepper and cheese) which me and Ollie had a couple of followed by some Guinness.. which was also not an unreasonable price.

Joe ran off and came back with some birthday cigars, thereby completing the cigar+whiskey+jazz triforce of cool. Jade got some wine giggles. Possibly the coolest part of the night was the bill... which listed five times: "1 Jazz   -   $5" and totalled $155 which, when you think about it, comes to about £20 each... which isn't so bad at all for jazz, drinks and a birthday. Well, I don't think it is...

(it was super dark so pictures are a bit blurry due to long exposure)

Can't see the piano guy but he was old... and ponytailed..
Anyways. That's that. Today I think we're gonna look around some places to live Joe found us.. And I'll probably make some more useless phone calls about my courses..


Tuesday, 17 August 2010

More walking around and stuff

Dear Blog,

Today and yesterday we did walking. Yesterday we went to look at a house near Loyola (the not-down-town campus that most of my lectures will be at). The house was ok but it wasn't as they'd advertised it which we didn't really like. The position etc. was perfect for me, about a 5 minute walk to campus and on a nice little suburban street but it turned out that they only had 2 rooms available (advertised 4) and one of them was 400$ (advertised 350£) so that was a bit sketchy... Also the landlord was away on holiday somewhere so we spoke to his daughter who didn't really know what was goin on.
However, we then went for a look at the campus which is SUPER nice. It's right in the burbs so there are lots of pretty houses and streets around and most of the sporting stuff takes place there. In fact when we were there the Concordia Stingers (football team) were training just across the road.

Pretty campus main building.

Some other building that we couldn't figure out the purpose for.

We didn't go inside anywhere but found a little park-style area between the campus buildings and chilled there for a while before catching the bus (with a driver who said "Thank you") back to the metro and into town.
Also, we discovered that Jade keeps a diary but DOESN'T start her entries with "Dear Diary"! We soon remedied that and made her promise to begin her next entry properly...

We also got a bit of bureaucracy out of the way by going to see some international help person at the uni. Joe and Jade were already registered for their courses so they got all their student ID cards and stuff. I reckon I won't get mine until next week sometime due to Concordia's staff being 80% USELESS.

So, today:
Decided to go see "Old Montreal". We walked a loooong way through town and had a little look at China Town before getting to retro town.
Old Montreal is basically a few cobbled streets with some nice looking cafés and such. There was a wicked cool looking Jazz Bar with a red piano in the window, which I decided against playing, although when we walked back up the street there was some pro old dude playing some wicked jazz. Oooh another thing about this town, all of the restaurants/cafés/bars have massive window/walls which are always open so you can literally walk through the windows rather than the door. Which is pretty cool and friendly feeling.

cool piano


Old Montreal also had a few street performers and buskers around which was nice. Even including the token Peruvian guys playing panpipes...
It's also right next to the harbour which we also checked out. We took a walk along the front and climbed some clock tower to get a reasonable view of what was going on:



more place
On the way back we succumbed to having our first "poutine" (which, by the way, is nothing to write home about) and are currently watching replays of Canada owning Germany at hockey in the Winter Olympics..

Plans for tomorrow: Tim Hortons; maybe Jazz Club but they're waaayyy expensive; finish registering for everything and find an apartment.

Ooooh! Also:
"Fuck you Mister Bitey!"



Sunday, 15 August 2010

Day 1 (2)

Ok, so. First (full) day.

We got here yesterday around 8 and taxi'd to our hostel (on Rue Mackay) which is run by "agent 007" and "The Cowboy" (who are awesome). First night consisted of a first Canadian beer at some bar called Thursdays which we found out today from a tour book "gets more people laid than craigslist".... hmmmm....

The hostel is cool, beds are nice, me Ollie and Joe are in a mixed dorm with handy lockers and a tree in a bath and Jade got dumped in a girls' dorm downstairs. Some aussie dude just moved into our room today and, in true long-haired dreadlocked australian style, he is awesome.

(Obligatory photo of room)

(our hella pimped out bathtub)

Had a decent look around town today and Montreal is awesome. We started in some mall that NEVER ENDS (seriously, we walked for like half an hour and didn't find the end.) and somehow after aiming for the Latin Quarter ended up in Montreal's gay town... unless that's just what the Latin Quarter is like? Either way, it was pretty gay.
For the "this city in nice" perspective: Montreal is awesome. We decided it's basically as if somebody took about 4 different cities and shuffled them all together. You can walk two blocks and see old school stone churches next to 50 story modern office buildings next to some tiny little gothic style house. It all goes from feeling really huge and overwhelming one minute, to being quaint and welcoming just around the corner. I definitely feel more like a stranger here than in BC, maybe due to the french, but as it turns out Ollie is fluent which is super useful. We also found our first food court, something I've missed in England.
I also found a couple Jazz clubs which WILL be hit up at some point, one has awesome stuff going on from september until April, with stuff like the Gotan Project and Pat Metheny.

Also! Mountain Dew, 10 different flavours of Rockstar, 20 different energy drinks, Pizza Pockets, HUGE cans of EVERYTHING, Fruit Loops, Lucky Charms, Kraft, Milk in bags, silly plug sockets, Pedestrians have right of way and DRIVERS REALIZE THIS, TIM HORTONS, eh!

+ Rather a lack of pictures today as the other ones I took are rather useless but I'll get them up either on here or facebook at some stage.

Kinda lame post but it's only one day right?


Friday, 13 August 2010

Pre-going stuff.

Righty-ho then. Just a brief starter to get things rolling and start to fill out the page before anything actually interesting happens.

So I leave tomorrow with the other Keele people (Jade, Joe, Ollie and no Alex because he got ROYALLY screwed over by Concordia.. the bastards.) after staying with my wonderful Lawrence tonight in LANDAN.

Packing began at 5:00pm yesterday and ended at midnight, sometime in between there I found some travel insurance too (last minute etc.). Money is still a rather huge issue, in that I HAVE NONE!
Also it seems that my idea of 4 months worth of stuff equates to slightly less than Lawrence's (or in fact my) 1 festival worth of stuff... Ooh I also got a nice shiny new camera today to take lots of pretty pictures :)

That's about enough to make my page look tended to.... for now. Time for pizza and playstation.

Oh yeah, I also am only registered for 1 of 4 courses and still have nowhere to live. Winner.